Feeds

More workers poisoned by supplier for Apple, Nokia

Nokia responds. Apple doesn't

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The Taiwanese company that provides displays and electronic components for Apple, Nokia, and others has admitted that more employees than previously reported have been poisoned by an industrial chemical used in its manufacturing facilities.

According to a report Thursday by Global Post, a Wintek spokesman admitted that 62 workers in the company's Suzhou plant, located in the Jiangsu province of mainland China, had been sickened by exposure to n-hexane last summer - more than the 47 to 49 that various news sources had previously reported.

The Wintek spokesman also said that of the workers poisoned by n-hexane, 41 remain hospitalized.

The company claims that it has discontinued use of the toxic chemical, used for cleaning displays, which can cause muscular degeneration and vision problems when workers are exposed to it in high concentration. Symptoms can arise well after exposure.

Wintek has denied that one worker recently died from n-hexane poisoning, instead attributing that death to a heart attack.

Last month China Daily reported that approximately 2,000 of the 10,000 workers at the Suzhou plant went on strike to protest both the use of toxic chemicals in the facility and the suspension of promised bonuses - a strike marred by violence.

Multiple news outlets - including China Daily - have reported that the Suzhou plant makes the displays for Apple's soon-to-be-released iPad. Keeping with its culture of secrecy, Apple will neither confirm nor deny that relationship. Wintek is keeping mum about its relationship with Apple as well.

Cupertino did recently release a "Supplier Responsibility" report (PDF), but although it details audit results and compliance with Apple's stated health and safety requirements, it contains no supplier-specific information.

Nokia, on the other hand, issued a statement saying: "We became aware of the allegations regarding the use of n-hexane in July 2009 and started our investigation immediately." It denied that the chemical was used on production lines supplying displays for their products.

It's been a bad week for Wintek, which on Monday reported sales of $850m in 2009, which resulted in a net loss of $80m. It has also been a bad week for those 41 employees who remain hospitalized. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
DVLA website GOES TITSUP on day paper car tax discs retire
Welcome to GOV.UK - digital by de ... FAULT
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.